As standard operating procedure for many with ADHD, because of their unique time perception, rather than having an internal clock, which perceives the passing of time, time is experienced from two sorts of “time zones”, Now and Not Now. For instance, if something is not happening Now then it is happening Not Now and things that are Not Now do not need to be attended to.
That is why you’ll see an individual with ADHD perform, what seems as, quite well, under pressure. For example, the project they’ve had months to work on was due Not Now until maybe just a day or two before Now. To people without ADHD this can seem mystifying and maddening. It can also negatively impact many areas of life: career, intimate relationships, family, and others’ perceptions of them.
By setting timers and alarms someone with ADHD can externalize this function and operate wonderfully without having to rely on their own internal clock or memory. Obviously, there are many clocks and timers to choose from.
You can also discover more about this unique time perception right now in the eBook
ADHD: A Different Hard Drive?
OR, enjoy a preview excerpt of:
See in ADHD Living and Coping with a Different Perspective
This Now vs. Not Now orientation can be very frustrating for both the individuals with ADHD and those without it. I’ve worked with many clients who think they can do “just one more thing” because they have no frame of reference on how long things take to do. The end result is they are late for appointments or responsibilities even ones as important as work. One woman I know is continuously late to pick up her son from school even though it happens at the exact same time every day. He is in elementary school and is afraid his mother will accidentally forget about him. I know that seems really bad and crazy, perhaps inexcusable, but this is the mother’s ADHD in action.
~ Jennie Friedman